Monday, September 28, 2009

An audiovisual disappointment

No real focus. To me those three words sum up FTD's fifth and (so far) latest book/CD combo Live in L.A. from 2007.

I received my copy last week, and unfortunately it's one of the weakest books FTD has published so far. It features some 200 photos of Elvis performing in Los Angeles, the majority of them from the evening concert Elvis did at Inglewood Forum on May 11, 1974, a show that is included as a soundboard on the accompanying CD.

Sounds good, doesn't it? The problem is, a lot of the photos, maybe as many as a third of them, are completely out of focus. In some cases a blurred shot of Elvis can enhance the feeling of action on stage, and pictures, even those that are out of focus expand the database. But mainly they lessen the quality of the book.

Another thing that drags the whole book/CD concept down is the lack of information. Granted, the release is a so called "audiovisual documentary," but the experience would be heightened with the story behind the pictures or the show (after all, Led Zeppelin were in the audience) or maybe some reviews from the newspapers at the time.

The book also includes photos from the other eleven concerts Elvis gave in Los Angeles during his career (four of them were held in the 50's) and in my view this makes nothing to enhance the "audiovisual" experience, it only confuses it.

Finally, the sound quality of the soundboard isn't that great, although the show is a good one with Elvis in a humorous mood. Given into account the high price asked for Live In L.A., one more soundboard would've been very much appreciated. But in it's current form, this is a release I can only recommend to the really die hard fans, and then just barely. Better then to just pick up the CD when it will be re-released without the book (as it's sure to be).

PS: You'll find a more favourable review of Live in L.A. on EIN and one along the same lines as mine over at Elvis Australia.

1 comment:

Troy Y. said...

Funny, although some time after the original release, your review came just in time for me!

I was thinking about ordering this LA book/CD in the next few days. Thanks for saving me the money. As Elvis said, "You can't win 'em all."

Looking forward to Good Times.